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Archive for the 'Gregg Senko' Category

Five Comic Book Series You Should Be Reading In 2018

So far I’ve found 2018 for comic books to be the complete opposite for the year’s movies. For instance, my top 10 films of the year list is looking rather bleak while my comics list is abundant with top tier stories. Hey, keep ’em coming! I’d rather have a top 10 list that is forever changing as opposed to one that is stagnant and empty. These titles have proven to be attention grabbers with great stories and great art that just don’t stop…unless it’s a mini-series, then, you know, that’s pretty finite. The titles in this group each have their own unique characteristics that put them on the list as recommended reading. Here are five comic book titles for 2018 that you shouldn’t be passing up.

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Black Panther and a Cultural Phenomenon

This past February, Marvel let the cat out of the bag. To be honest, a more specific interpretation is Marvel unleashed a panther from its cage. Directed by Oakland’s own Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale StationCreed), Black Panther didn’t merely flex its muscles at the box office nor did it scratch and claw its way to the top. On the contrary, it was more like a complete obliteration of the competition. Domestically the film grossed just under $700 million. Globally it brought in just over $1.3 billion…with a ‘b’…billion. Not a lot of films are able to stake a claim to that kind of accomplishment. Still, the money and the ticket sales are just side-stories to what Coogler and this film truly achieved. What I saw as a super hero movie turned out to be something much greater to a lot more people.

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Force Out Hate – A Star Wars Battle Beyond the Films

There will always be a debate as to who likes which Star Wars film more, why their opinion should be validated and what we all would have changed in whichever film. We all have different tastes and varying points of view on the movies. Honestly, I no longer feel the need to tell anyone why I love Attack of the Clones or Return of the Jedi. I’ve found such discussions often go nowhere, especially when someone says they dislike The Last Jedi because of porgs or the fact that Laura Dern’s Holdo character is in a gown. If that’s how you judge a film, I’d stay away from movies in general. However, as time has gone on, the criticism tossed around Star Wars content has gone outside of the realm of scenes or character actions. Rather, it has become nothing short of vile as some so called “fans” have verbally attacked anyone associated with the films on a grand scale.

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Hawkman Spreads His Wings in Big Return

DC has a massive library of characters to its credit. Some, like Batman (of course), are so successful that there is never a need to shelve the character in any form in comics. Then you have others like Plastic Man which disappear for years at a time, and are then brought back fresh and revamped. Finally, there are those super heroes that are commonly found in the pages of DC Comics, but for some reason or another, disappear for a short time and finally make a big splash in their return. This is certainly the case for Carter Hall, better known as the mace-wielding, sky-soaring hero known as Hawkman.

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Vegas Hockey Proves Golden

Hey, what’s a sports article doing here? Well, we are an entertainment website and some things just don’t entertain the way pro sports do. Case in point, the Vegas Golden Knights. I remember a few years ago when I first heard the NHL will be expanding again with the possible locations for a team being Seattle, Washington, Hamilton, Ontario, Toronto, Ontario (yes, a second team there) and Las Vegas, Nevada. Having someone rival the Maple Leafs in the same town seemed highly unlikely, and honestly, quite ludicrous. Hamilton recently had the Bulldogs of the AHL, but that’s a location that didn’t strike me as being big enough to support an NHL team. Seattle seemed the most likely of all, yet they wouldn’t be the one awarded a franchise team for the 2017-18 season. That left Las Vegas as the one holding all the cards.

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Why ‘Solo’ Stands Alone – Disney’s First Star Wars Stumble

Most of us have had a chance to see Disney’s latest installation in the Star Wars franchise by now. Solo: A Star Wars Story recently arrived in theaters after a well-documented production period littered with turbulence. The original director tandem of Phil Lord and Chris Miller (The Lego Movie, 21 Jump Street) were fired after Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy didn’t like where they were headed with the Han Solo film. Ron Howard stepped in, did a bunch of reshoots, and viola! Success! Right? The film opened to a less than spectacular $103 million in its 4-day opening weekend and dropped 65% in its second weekend.  What went wrong?  Let’s take a closer look as to why Solo is by itself in the realm of Star Wars’ performances at the box office.

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Tensions Heat Up With ‘The Curse of Brimstone’ – Issue #1

So for a few months now I’ve been tackling DC’s latest arsenal of new titles for 2018. The one I’ve anticipated the most has finally arrived, The Curse of Brimstone. It recently arrived on store shelves and through Amazon’s Comixology in tandem with another new DC release, The Immortal Men. While I haven’t picked up the latter yet, I dove into Brimstone rather quickly. Writer Justin Jordan (The Strange Talent of Luther Strode) brings a hot pen to the book’s pages as Philip Tan (Final Crisis) delivers the scorching visuals.  Pack some sunscreen because this book is going to burn.

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The Brilliance of Sinclair

I was kind of late to the concert scene compared to most of my peers as a teen. I didn’t see my first show until I was 19. Since then, I’ve lost track of just how many concerts I’ve been to, but thankfully there has been that luxury of experiencing a lot more good shows than bad. With each of those headlining bands, there have been a plethora of opening acts I’ve been able to listen to as well. Some sang, some danced, but only a few performed. This past Wednesday, April 11th, another opening act was added to my list of artists seen. Wait, in this case let us say ‘experienced’. Prior to the Daughtry show at the Hard Rock Rocksino in Northfield, Ohio, a trio known simply as Sinclair took the stage. No one warned me just how impactful they would be.

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‘Ready Player One’ Offers Spectacular Visuals and a Headache

In 2011, a certain sci-fi novel was released called Ready Player One.  It was an instant hit and not only were sales impressive, but the book found its way to the New York Times Best Seller list.  Now, I cannot say that I have read the book, but of those that have, no one has never told me one bad thing about it. Being a bit of literature that flew off store shelves and fulfilled many online shopping carts, it seemed destined to make its way to the big screen.  The novel is filled with references to decades past such as the band Rush, Ultraman, Joust, D&D and a boatloads of 1980’s pop culture favorites. How did all this translate to a somewhat dystopian future where video games are more than just an escape from life? You know the drill. No need to drop another quarter to continue. Just click to read on.

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Asmodee Extends its Reach to Film, TV & Comics

If you’re familiar with the some of today’s most popular board games (no, I don’t mean Monopoly or Sorry), then you’re probably familiar with Asmodee (azz-mo-day). The French publisher is a behemoth in the industry and currently oversees production of many massively popular board, card and role-playing games like Hanabi, Splendor, Ticket to Ride, Dead of Winter and Star Wars X-Wing. Of course, to get to the point they are at today, they have acquired a number of other game publishers along the way such as Fantasy Flight, Days of Wonder, and most recently Mayfair Games and Lookout Spiele. While some raise an eyebrow to the number of companies Asmodee is amassing, there is no denying they excel at what they do. So what else do you do when you own nearly everything in sight? You turn it into a movie.

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‘Infidel’ Draws Creepy Vibe, Sinister Visitors

It’s taxing to find good horror on comic book shelves. Many titles that try their hand at the genre are underwhelming while others may just come across as kid-like and are more goofy than scary. Now don’t get me wrong. The horror gems can still be found out there. The first to come to mind is Joe Hill’s resounding Lock & Key, which not only turned some keys, but plenty of heads as well. This title didn’t garner international attention because the covers were pretty. Content was solid to say the least. Yet that brings us to today when horror comic books aren’t exactly commonplace. Let’s correct that right now. I give you Infidel.

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Mera Has Her Day – and Her Own Series

Im a big Aquaman fan, but as the saying goes, behind every great man is a great woman. For quite some time, the one-time rival and now love interest of Arthur Curry, Mera of Xebel, gets her own comic book series. Though it is a limited series, something tells me DC is testing the waters to see if sales will allow her to get her own ongoing story.  For now, I’m just excited this has come out.  DC released issue #1 of the Mera: Queen of Atlantis at the end of February. Pardon me for a being a little late to the game, but as the other saying goes, better late than never. Plus, this is one title that is worth the wait.

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The Terrifics…or is it?

In keeping up with DC’s ongoing barrage of new titles this year, the latest arrival in our hands is issue #1 of The Terrifics. This compact super team is led by Mr. Terrific himself while joined by Metamorpho, Plastic Man and newcomer Linnya Wazzo. I really can’t wait to just dive in and start talking about this, but I’m wasting time and space to fill up enough dialogue so I there’s a big enough paragraph in place before you click on the title to read more. I know, cheap journalistic move, right? Yeah, guilty as charged.

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DC Kicks Off New Line with Some ‘Damage’

In late 2017, DC Comics announced several new comic book series that would begin in early 2018. With a total of eight new titles set, DC is looking to establish some new characters, like Damage, while bringing back some old…Plastic Man, anyone? Innovation and creativity are key in the industry so it’s no surprise the new roster of heroes (are they all heroes?) are making their debut. Keep an eye out in the coming months for The Silencer, Sideways, The Terrifics, The Immortal Men, The Curse of Brimstone, New Challengers and The Unexpected. For now though, DC has satiated our appetite with the first of the eight new series, Damage.

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Gregg’s Fantastic Film Round-Up of 2017

Without question, this is my favorite article to write for Why So Blu. All of us WSB staffers start keeping track of the films we see from the moment January arrives. As the year progresses, we delete, we add and we rearrange our lists until late December arrives when it’s time to finally see what’s behind the curtain. Now for the inundated, these lists are not reflections of the most artistic films of the year. Each one is a reflection of that writer’s personal favorites from that year. Don’t flip out in the comments section if you were to see something like Rambo higher than The Sound of Music. Again, favorites, people. We’re not giving out Oscar nominations here (though some of the films we discuss are very Oscar-worthy). Anyway, it’s time to pull back that curtain.

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Gregg’s Top 10 Blu-rays of 2017

Steelbook was the name of the game this year as the collectible tin Blu-ray cases seemed to have grown in demand greatly in 2017. Best Buy appears to have the majority of the market on these which certainly has me paying them visits more often than in recent years. Still, just as you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, you shouldn’t judge a Blu-ray by its clam shell. Fancy packaging aside, there were plenty of enticing choices to get your hands on this past year when it comes to the high def, home-viewing format. So without anymore time spent on my affinity for metal movie cases, let’s crack open that list!

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Gregg’s 2017 Album of the Year

If you felt like there was an overwhelming choice of new releases to listen to in 2017, you would be correct. Blockbuster headliners such as Taylor Swift, Eminem and U2 all released new albums this past year as did some fairly newer stars such as country singer Danielle Bradbery and pop hottie Dua Lipa. On the rap and hip-hop front, Lil Wayne has an album coming out on Christmas Day while Big Sean came out with his latest work last week. Did I listen to every album that came out this year to come to my conclusion? Of course not, that’s not realistic. However, after sifting through twelve months of various radio stations as well as a much more increased use of Pandora than in recent years, we have a winner.

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Best Comic Books of 2017

This past year saw some big events in the comic book world. The Suicide Squad went toe to toe with the Justice League. Image saw the last words written for one of its strongest series in Invincible. The Joker and the Riddler went fisticuffs on a catastrophic level in the pages of Batman (that read comes highly recommended from me by the way). Let us not forget the brilliance of small indie publisher Sabotage Industries and their title Shed. That came awfully close to making this list as its Alien Nation-vibe story brought civil rights to the forefront in a new light. It pitted the skin vs. skinless amidst an apocalyptic overtone with some magnificent writing and great artwork to boot. As with any ‘best of the year’ list, however, there can only be one champ in each category. So, while the aforementioned titles didn’t make this list, rest assured they are all enjoyable reads. Now onto the list…

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